Tag Archives: Leicester City

The Underdog? No, the SuperFox!

People love the underdog.  “Rags-to-riches”, “zero-to-hero”, “The American Dream”: the idea of grit triumphing over inheritance ignites our imagination. From an educational perspective I love underdogs too.  They show us that by using our talents, working hard and playing as a team we can win, sometimes against all odds.

Blue Christmas

The odds against Leicester City (“The Foxes”), the football club of my hometown, winning the Premier League, at the beginning of this season were 5000-to-1.  To put this into perspective: the odds of Christmas Day being the hottest day of the year were also 5000-to-1 and the odds of Elvis Presley being found alive and well were 2000-to-1.



Underdog? Underfox? SuperFox!

Leicester City has just won the Premier League for the first time in our 132 year history! I’m super proud of our team!  The city and shire are elated and the country enthralled by this fairytale victory.  This is one of the greatest sporting turnarounds of all time. (Check out the chart below).  The underdog has won and it turns out to be a fox.  It feels disrespectful to call them an “underfox”.  Watch the news: they’re SuperFoxes!


“Arise Sir Jamie Vardy of King Power Stadium”

At Christmas 2014 we were bottom of the Premier League, looking like we were heading south.  However by Christmas 2015 (which was not much warmer than Elvis) we were top of the league and had spirit and momentum. Since then it felt like a dream that was going to come true.  This was because of the dream team, the best “team” in the League, a team of heroes.  Claudio Ranieri, Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, Wes Morgan, Leonardo Ulloa, Danny Drinkwater and Kasper Schmeichel, to name but a few of the heroes. They all need to be knighted.


Next generation

Is this the dawn of a new era for Leicestershire sporting talent? For example Luke Thompson, signed by Leicester City Academy and featured below next to the Cup after playing for the under 9’s.  The Foxes have shown us that anything’s possible.  (And yes, this is my nephew, so no bias there :)).


Dreaming and doing

It has been said that the “team with the dream” won. Dreams inspire us.  But grit is what delivers. The Foxes dreamed and they delivered. They’re an inspiration. Go Foxes! Go SuperFoxes!

Working together to develop scalable technology at Sanoma Learning

One of the key trajectories in our strategy is using technology to help pupils and teachers. We believe technology is an enabler of what we call learning impact: engaging pupils, improving learning outcomes and supporting the workflow of the teacher. Developing and deploying the right technology in the right way is therefore critical to our mission.

Key parts of our technology are developed together and scaled across our units. This is not easy but brings benefits in terms of speed, quality, cost, skills and shared learning.

This week I caught up with new recruit Heikki Rusama, in the team of our Chief Business Technology Officer Arnoud Klerkx, who recently moved from Rovio in Finland to Sanoma Learning’s co-development team in The Netherlands, to learn more about this work.

Tell us about your background and why you joined Sanoma Learning

I’ve been interested in learning since my teenage years and studied educational science to originally prepare for a role in academia. I’m keen to work in a role that will allow me to combine my passion for education with technology.

I found such a role when previously working at Rovio Learning, the entertainment company behind the Angry Birds. However I joined Sanoma for two reasons: to me it is important that learning is the company’s core business and secondly I see potential for further international growth in learning. Therefore, Sanoma Learning feels like a perfect fit for me.

What’s your role at Sanoma Learning?

My role as one of the Business Technology Consultants is to help business units to grow in digital learning by providing building blocks for the current and the future applications. This I do by leading some co-development initiatives like Edubase (learning engine), Identity & Access Management, and later this year Learning Analytics.

How does this bring value to our ways of working?

One of the many strengths of this company is the deep understanding of education including the local differences. Through our co-development program we identify and build common, scalable technology.  This helps us to develop higher quality solutions, faster and at lower cost and also to share learnings across our footprint which includes some of the World’s best education systems. If we are able to take co-development to the next level, we are going to create more Bingels in the future.

What are your first impressions of working with us?

I really enjoy my work. Like today, when I had meetings with Business Technology teams from Van In (Belgium) and Sanoma Utbildning (Sweden). Not only are they inspiring people to work with, I really admire the drive and passion they have for learning and technology. With teams like these, the co-development agenda will succeed.

Where do you think we stand on the digital transformation?

The future of our business seems bright yet increasingly complex. I am confident that we are tackling the right questions. We’re clearly a frontrunner on the digital transformation, which is going to be a long journey. Our deep understanding of learning combined with our technology capabilities make us strong. Further building on our co-development abilities will prepare us better for the future, by enabling us to make better products faster.

Thanks for the feedback Heikki. I believe enabling our learning methods with technology to help our customers is the way forward.  The co-development agenda is a great way for us to scale investments, skills and learnings as we progress.

P.S. Leicester City has a five point lead at the top of the Premier League.  Go Foxes!